His Devotion and Faithfulness

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How was the devotion of prophet muhammad? How was the faithfulness of prophet muhammad?

Loyalty means to not forget the favors received and to keep responding to them with favors either equal or better than it in return. Loyalty is the source of friendship, the first destination of love, and the most important basis of trust. It is the sign of complete and perfect faith and submission to Allah. Ingratitude is the opposite of loyalty and it means to not appreciate the favors and respond it with badness.

Moral qualities such as sincerity, devotion, and modesty, exist in the foundation of loyalty. Loyalty is an endless sea and a rare covenant.

The greatest loyalty for a servant is to know his Creator, fulfill his responsibilities of servitude, and appreciate the blessings given by his Creator; whereas, the greatest ingratitude of a servant is to deny his Lord and to not acknowledge His Exaltedness.

The peak of loyalty was manifested in the life of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). Saying that, “I am the supplication of my father Abraham, good news of my brother Jesus, and dream of my mother Aminah”[1] (Hakim, II, 453) Allah’s Messenger remembered Abraham, Jesus (peace and blessings be upon all of them), and his mother Aminah with gratitude. He also made the reciting of Abraham’s supplication a custom for his followers till the Last Day. Remembering the family of Prophet Abraham after the family of Prophet Muhammad in the supplications of “Salli and Barik”, which are recited in every prayer, is the result of this elegant sense of loyalty.

Another incident which shows the loyalty of the Prophet as a son occurred on his way to Mecca to perform the minor pilgrimage of Hudaybiyah. They passed by Abwa on their way. Allah’s Messenger visited his mother’s grave with the permission from Allah the Almighty. During his visit, he straightened his mother’s grave with his hands and cried from his grief. Muslims, who saw him crying, began to cry, too. Then they asked the reason for his sadness and he (pbuh) replied: “I cried, because I remembered my mother’s kindness and compassion.” (Ibn Sa’d, I, 116-17; see also Muslim, Janaiz, 105-108)

 After the Prophet (pbuh) had lost his caring and loving mother at a very young age, first his grandfather and then his paternal uncle took him under their protection. His uncle’s wife Fatima looked after him as well. She did not discriminate him from her own children and she even held him dearer. When this lady passed away after she migrated to Medina as a Muslim, Allah’s Apostle (pbuh) said that, “my mother passed away.” He shrouded her with his own shirt and then lied down for a while in her grave to let her get used to the grave. When he was told that “O Messenger of Allah! It looks like you have become really sad for Fatima’s death,” he said:

“She was my mother. She would feed me while her own children were waiting hungry; she would clean me up first while her own children were waiting in dirt and dust. She was my mother.” (Ya’qubi, II, 14)

Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) really would have liked that his Uncle Abu Talib converted to Islam. He tried to convince his uncle for conversion several times. His efforts at the time of his uncle’s death bed are very famous. It was very saddening for the Prophet (pbuh) to see someone who had done so many great services for Islam not to accept Islam. When Abu Talib passed away, Ali (r.a.) came to Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) and said: “your old uncle died as an unbeliever in a state of astray.” The Prophet (pbuh) became so sad from hearing this news that he began to cry. And then he said: “go, wash, and bury him.” (Nasai, Janaiz, 84; Diyarbekri, I, 301) His grief was not emerging just from his efforts to convey the message of Islam but also from his feeling of indebtedness towards his uncle.

Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) never forgot those who had done favors for him and he showed his loyalty and gratitude towards them for his entire life. His loyalty especially to his first wife Khadijah reached a matchless dimension. His nanny Ummu Ayman, who also breastfed him for a week, his wet-nurse Halimah, Halimah’s daughter (his sister from breastfeeding) Shayma were among the lucky people who witnessed his loyalty. The Prophet (pbuh) respected them highly and did everything he could to help fulfill their needs. (Ibn Sa’d, I, 113-114)

As soon as Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) saw his sister Shayma among the prisoners of war in the Battle of Hawazin, he recognized her. He immediately gave them valuable presents and then sent her and her relatives back to their town. Our beloved Prophet (pbuh) even thought about giving back the war booty which was taken from them just because of the four years which he had spent with his wet-nursing aunts from the tribe of Hawazin. However, people from Hawazin were late to make their requests and because of the insistence of the bedouins in the Muslim army Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) had to distribute the war booty gathered in Jiranah. Later, upon the request from the tribe of Hawazin the Prophet (pbuh) freed the captives who fell into his and his family’s share and companions did the same and they also did not request ransom money. (Ibn Hisham, IV, 135) Because of the Prophet’s loyalty to his relatives, thousands of people attained their freedom and opened their hearts to the truth.

After the prophetic mission given to Allah’s Messenger (pbuh), he endured all kinds of pain and affliction but continued to convey the message of Islam. On his way back from Taif his enemies wanted to prevent his entrance to Mecca. Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) asked for protection from many notables of Mecca, but every one of them refused. Only Mut’im b. Adiyy accepted and helped Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) enter the city under the protection of his fully armed sons. Years passed after this incident. Mut’im fought against Muslims in the Battle of Badr and got killed. Hasan b. Thabit, one of the poets of the Prophet, wrote an elegy for him which stated his protection of the Messenger of Allah, and kindly remembered him. Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) became very happy for the loyalty shown on his behalf. Then the Prophet (pbuh) talked about the war prisoners of Badr saying: “Had Al-Mutim bin Adi been alive and interceded with me for these captives, I would have freed them for his sake without even asking ransom from them.” (Bukhari, Humus, 16; Ibn Hisham, I, 404-406)

During the season of pilgrimage Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) used to try to convey the message of Islam in fairs and face all kinds of difficulties, hardships, and tortures. Just like many other tribes he invited the tribe of the sons of Amir b. Sa’saa to accept Islam. When he mounted on his camel, one of them named Bayharah poked a stick at the Prophet’s camel. The animal jumped with pain and the Prophet (pbuh) fell down. Seeing the insult done to the Messenger of Allah a Muslim lady named Dubaa bint Amir said that: “O Amir family! Isn’t there anybody amongst you, who can help the Messenger of Allah for my sake after seeing what happened to him?” Three of her uncle’s sons immediately stood up and walked towards Bayhara. From then on Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) prayed for those people saying:

“O Allah! Please bestow your blessings upon them.” As a result of these prayers Allah the Almighty honored them with faith and then with the rank of martyrdom. (Ibn hajar, al-Isabah, IV, 353)

The Prophet’s devotion and loyalty comprised everybody. However, he would show special countenance and love to those who were serving the mission of Islam. A black person who used to clean the Mosque had died. The Prophet (pbuh) did not know about it. One day the Prophet remembered him and said, “What happened to that person?” The people replied, “O Allah’s Apostle! He died.” He said, “Why did you not inform me?” They said, “His story was so and so (i.e. regarded him as insignificant).” He said, “Show me his grave.” He then went to his grave and offered the funeral prayer. (Bukhari, Janaiz, 67)

Similarly, Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) would never forget those who died as martyrs on the path of Allah. He would personally pay special attention to education and bringing up their children and do everything he could to help their wives. He would encourage his companions to do the same. Two of the countless examples in this regard are as follows:

When the Prophet (pbuh) was turning back from the minor pilgrimage of Hudaybiyah, Umamah, Hamza’s (r.a.) little daughter, who was among the martyrs of Uhud, told him: “O Uncle! Where are you going and leaving me here?” Upon this the Prophet (pbuh) took her with him to Medina. When he asked his companions who would foster her, three of them volunteered. The first one was Zayd b. Haritha (r.a.), whom the Prophet (pbuh) declared to be the brother of Hamzah (r.a.) after migrating to Medina. The second one was Ali (r.a.) who could be considered as Umamah’s uncle. And the third one was Ja’far b. Abu Talib (r.a.) who was a close relative of Umamah just like Ali (r.a.). The only difference was that his wife was Umamah’s aunt. Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) was deeply moved by this close attention to the daughter of a martyr. He complimented all three of them:

“O Zayd! You are a friend of Allah and His Messenger. O Ali! You are my brother and friend. O Ja’far! You are the closest one to me in character and morality.” Then he entrusted Umamah to Ja’far because of his marriage with Umamah’s aunt. Later, Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) cared for Umamah in every stage of her life and married her with Ummu Salamah’s son Salah at its appropriate time. (Bukhari, Maghazi, 43; Ibn Sa’d, VIII, 159)

In the Battle of Mu’tah three commanders, Zayd b. Haritha, Ja’far b. Abu Talib, and Abdullah b. Rawaha, died consecutively as martyrs. After the war when the Muslim army came back to Medina, Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) and Medinans cried after their martyrs. Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) prohibited believers from lamenting excessively and bawling. He ordered instead to take food to the martyrs’ houses. He especially enjoined their orphans to be taken care of. In this matter, he manifested the best examples to his followers. He went to Ja’far’s family to express his condolences and sent food to their house for three days. He also took their children under his protection from that day on. (Ibn Hisham, III, 436)

Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) was appreciative not only to those who had done a favor for him but also to those who one way or another assisted Islam or his companions. He showed his gratefulness towards such people as occasion served.

Years had passed after the migration to Abyssinia. Delegates of the ruler of Abyssinia came to the Prophet (pbuh). Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) paid close attention to them; he even served them personally. When companions told him that they could do the service, he gave them the following meaningful answer: “These are the ones who gave my companions who migrated to Abyssinia a place to stay and offered them food and drink. Now in return I would like to serve them.” (Bayhaki, Shuab al-Iman, VI, 518; VII, 436)

The Prophet’s gratitude towards Abyssinia continued later in his life. Even though there was a sea between the two countries and travel by land took several days, Allah’s Messenger informed his companions about the Abyssinian ruler Najashi’s death on the same day and said:

“Perform the funeral prayer of your brother who passed away in a faraway land. When the companions asked: “O Messenger of Allah! Who is that man?” He replied:

“He is Najashi Ashama! There died today the pious servant of Allah, Ashama. Ask forgiveness from Allah for your brother.” Then he stood up and led us in (funeral prayer) for him. (Muslim, Janaiz, 62-68; Ibn Hanbal, IV, 7)

When his sickness got worse and he was on his deathbed, Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) came to the mosque to see his companions. The mosque was swarming with believers. Allah’s beloved Messenger (pbuh) had done his mission and showed many of them the right path. Seeing such a big crowd in the mosque, which was the result of his efforts, made him really happy. He could leave this world satisfied with the results of his work; however, there were those companions who had become martyrs on the path of conveying the message of Islam who had not been able to join the crowd. Allah’s Apostle (pbuh) never forgot them. From time to time he would go to the cemeteries and pray for them. He did the same in his final speech. The companion narrating this incident stated that:

“After the Prophet (pbuh) pronounced the declaration of faith (kalima al-shahadah), he said:

“O people! For His blessings, I thank Allah that there is no god but Him.” And then he asked forgiveness for the martyrs of Uhud as he always did. (Ibn Sa’d, II, 228, 251)

Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) then said showing his loyalty to the Medinan Muslims (Ansar):

“O people! The people will go on increasing, but the Ansar will go on decreasing till they become just like salt in a meal. So whoever amongst you will be the ruler and have the power to harm or benefit others, should accept the good of the good-doers amongst them and excuse the wrong-doers amongst them.” (Bukhari, Manqib al-Ansar, 11)

“I request you to take care of the Ansar as they are my near companions to whom I confided my private secrets. They have fulfilled their obligations and rights which were enjoined on them but there remains what is for them. So, accept the good of the good-doers amongst them and excuse the wrongdoers amongst them.” (Bukhari, Manaqib al-Ansar, 10)

After this speech, the Prophet (pbuh) did not go up the pulpit again. He left this world with his mind at ease for fulfilling his job and entrusting his friends from Ansar to his ummah.

Examples showing the Prophet’s loyalty towards those heroic people are countless. When Mecca was conquered, the Ansar became very sad because they thought that the Prophet (pbuh) might leave them and stay in Mecca; but Allah’s Messenger chose them and came back to Medina.

Our Prophet (pbuh) did not forget the sacrifices of the Meccan believers (Muhajirs), either. Especially, Abu Bakr (r.a.) who had a special place for him.

Abu Bakr announced, “Whoever was promised by the Prophet should come to us.” (Ibn Sa’d, II, 318; Bukhari, Kafala, 3)

Allah the Almighty places tranquility into the hearts of loyal servants and purifies their essence. He renews His Blessings to such servants whenever His blessings are exhausted. Rumi (q.s.) says in this respect:

“The people who have been loyal to others are given superiority over all (other) sorts (of men). Seas and mountains are made subject to them; the four elements[2] also are the slaves of that class.” (Mathnawi, V, verses: 1192-1193)

[1] Abraham (pbuh) sincerely made the following supplication for the Prophet (pbuh): “Our Lord! send amongst them a Messenger of their own, who shall rehearse Your Signs to them and instruct them in Scripture and Wisdom, and sanctify them …” (al-Baqarah 2; 129) Jesus (pbuh) gave the glad tidings of a Messenger who was going to come after him. (al- Saff 61; 6) Our mother Aminah, on the other hand, saw in her dream that a light was coming out of her and enlightening the whole world. (Ibn Sa’d, I, 102)

[2] These four elements are air, water, earth, and fire which constitute the essence of creation.

Source: An Excellent Exemplar, Osman Nuri Topbaş,  Erkam Publications

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